NFL Week 8 Preview: Dolphins at Ravens
The Miami Dolphins visit the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
Coverage by: Cyrus Geller
Matchup: Miami Dolphins offense vs. Baltimore Ravens defense
- WR Kenny Stills vs. CB Jimmy Smith – This matchup favors the Ravens, as Stills has struggled this season. His overall grade of 47.9 is tied for 97th out of 115 qualified receivers. However he did show some life last week against the Jets, catching six balls for 85 yards and two touchdowns, and his quarterback had a passer rating of 136.6 when targeting him. He will be matched up with Jimmy Smith quite a bit in this game, who currently has the 16th highest coverage grade among 110 qualified cornerbacks at 83.6. Smith is also fifth among 111 qualified corners in lowest passer rating when targeted at 43.3, and is seventh is yards per coverage snap at 0.47.
- TE Julius Thomas vs. LB C.J. Mosley – Thomas has struggled mightily in 2017, as his overall grade of 44.3 is currently 56th out of 66 qualified tight ends. However, he might have an opportunity to get it going this week against C.J. Mosley, who has allowed 247 yards in coverage, the seventh most out of 46 qualified inside linebackers. With Mosley in coverage, he has allowed 22 of the 27 balls thrown at him to be completed thus far in 2017. If there ever was a week for Thomas to make an impact, this might be it.
- RB Jay Ajayi vs. DI Michael Pierce – Ajayi hasn’t been nearly as elusive this season as he was in 2016, as he is only 17th out of 47 qualified running backs this year in elusive rating at 45.0. It won’t get any easier against Michael Pierce, who has been solid against the run, owning the 13th highest run-defense grade among interior defenders at 85.8. He also has the second most run stops (19) among 77 qualified defensive tackles this season.
Coverage by: Daniel Cohen
Matchup; Baltimore Ravens offense vs. Miami Dolphins defense
- G Jermaine Eluemunor vs. DI Ndamukong Suh – Already off to a rough start, the Raven’s rookie right guard has his work cut out for him against one of the best interior defenders in the league. Eluemunor, through the five games he’s played this season, has already allowed three sacks, tied for fourth most among all guards. Suh’s overall grade of 89.1 ranks sixth among interior defenders, and he has 17 total pressures this season, sixth most among defensive tackles.
- RB Javorius Allen vs. LB Lawrence Timmons – Allen ran his most routes of the season last game (32) and caught eight of his 12 targets, though for just 29 yards. Timmons has been targeted frequently in coverage this season, averaging just 5.5 coverage snaps per target, fourth fewest among 4-3 outside linebackers (min. 70 coverage snaps). He has fared well, however, earning the 14th best coverage grade among all linebackers (80.8). With 37 targets this season, Allen is the eighth most targeted running back and should have plenty of opportunities against Timmons this week.
- WR Chris Moore vs. CB Cordrea Tankersley – With the majority of Ravens wide receivers battling injuries, Moore has seen his usage increase significantly the last three games. He played 58 out of 65 possible snaps last week and will likely continue seeing the field after contributing 36 yards and a touchdown last week. Tankersley has allowed three touchdowns this season, and his passer rating allowed of 133.1 ranks fourth highest among cornerbacks. With CB Xavien Howard (37.6 overall grade) on the other side for the Dolphins, Moore has a good chance to score again if he continues to play the majority of snaps.